The MB&F HM11 Architect watch stands as a testament to the innovative fusion of horology and architecture, drawing inspiration from the bold architectural experiments of the 1960s. This avant-garde timepiece, conceived by Maximilian Büsser and limited to just 50 units, reflects a daring question: “What if a house was a watch?” The result is a remarkable embodiment of Le Corbusier’s philosophy that a house is a machine for living, blending the functional aspects of a dwelling with the intricate craftsmanship of a high-end watch.
The 42 mm case of the HM11 Architect is crafted from polished grade-5 titanium, a choice that signifies MB&F’s commitment to using materials that challenge traditional watchmaking. This pioneering spirit is evident in the watch’s design, featuring four distinct chambers, each serving a unique purpose and resembling rooms in a house. These chambers are set within a structure that allows the wearer to interact with the watch in an unprecedented way.
At the heart of the HM11 Architect is a three-dimensional horological engine, crowned by a central flying tourbillon that soars under a double-domed sapphire roof. This intricate mechanism is visible through a transparent crown, allowing an intimate view of the movement. The watch’s architecture also includes an upper bridge shaped like a four-leaf clover, reminiscent of windows in temples and symbolizing genesis, a nod to the moment of creation.
The four chambers of the watch each tell a different story. One displays the time through an innovative system of rod-mounted orbs, with larger orbs indicating quarter-hours and smaller ones for the remaining minutes. This intuitive display is further enhanced by red-tipped arrows, adding a splash of color and aiding in time reading. Another chamber acts as a power reserve indicator, with orbs increasing in size as the wearer rotates the watch, culminating in a 2.4mm orb that signifies a full 96-hour power reserve.
A third chamber is dedicated to temperature measurement, showcasing MB&F’s reverence for traditional mechanisms. This room houses a mechanical thermometer that operates without batteries or electricity, bending in response to temperature changes. The final chamber, at first glance empty, houses a discreet MB&F emblem. This emblem serves a practical purpose, allowing the wearer to set the time, symbolizing the discovery of a hidden aspect of the watch.
The HM11 Architect’s design is a blend of aesthetics and functionality. The walls of the ‘watch-house’ are forged in polished grade-5 titanium, surrounding a central open space akin to a courtyard, covered with a double-arched sapphire crystal roof. The coloring of the watch’s components through physical vapor deposition offers shades of cool ozone blue or warm solar gold, with only 25 pieces available in each color.
Crafting the HM11 Architect is a meticulous process, akin to sculpting a detailed artwork from hard stone. It takes almost a week to complete the steps of cutting, finishing, and ensuring precision, underscoring MB&F’s dedication to excellence in watchmaking. As of its release, the MB&F’s N11 Architect watch carries a price tag of approximately 239,000 USD, reflecting its status as a luxury timepiece and a piece of wearable architecture.
The MB&F HM11 Architect watch is more than a timekeeping device; it is a miniature architectural marvel, a celebration of the synergy between two distinct but interconnected worlds. It symbolizes a journey into uncharted territories of design and engineering, marking a new chapter in the legacy of MB&F, a brand synonymous with pushing the boundaries of what a watch can be. Also be sure to check our list of the most expensive watches in the world.